7 Strong Ways To Combat Negativity

Everyone has a few people in their life that just refuse to appreciate the success of others. Despite any achievement you may complete, goal you may reach, or any pride you may feel, these cynics act the wet-blanket and find a way to rain on your parade.

These people come in many denominations. They can be younger or older, richer or poorer, close friends and relatives or mere acquaintances, but they are always there.

In general, odds are they are pessimistic towards your success because they are jealous or even fearful of it. However, knowing this is often not enough to deal with their negativity.

Here are 7 ways to manage such negativity, keep your aspirations high, and stay on track to a happy, successful life.

  1. Keep Aspirations Personal and Private – Most naysayers will not appreciate or commend something in its baby stages. Try keeping silent about your goals until you have achieved something significant. Once you have something concrete to show, they’ll be hard pressed to find something entirely negative to say about it.
  2. Positive Passivity – An ideal way to silence a potential naysayer is to merely shrug it off. Be positively passive. If someone is trying to shoot you down, you have no obligation to listen to them. Be aware of the potential for an explosive conversation and how to handle one.
  3. The Old Switch-A-Roo – Try to adopt the approach of using someone’s negativity as motivation. If someone tells you “you can’t do that,” make it your goal to prove to them that you can.
  4. Keep A Progress Log – Write down your significant achievements and whenever you reach your goals. If ever a cynic tries to get you down, just take a look at your Progress Log and be instantly reminded of your potential and ambition.
  5. Distance Yourself – Although not possible in some cases, try to get away from pessimists. Try to surround yourself with people that always see the glass as half-full. Intelligent people realize that supporting others in their endeavors earns reciprocated support and leads to a less stressful life. Surround yourself with smart people.
  6. Recognize Constructive Criticism – It is not always the case that someone is intentionally downplaying your success. Try to be aware of constructive criticism and realize when an individual is sincerely trying to help you up instead of putting you down.
  7. Remember Why – Remember why some people insist on spoiling your mood. They are often jealous and fearful of your success. Whenever you think somebody is trying to put you down, keep this thought in the back of your head and smile. They just wish they were more like you.

All in all, you are your own best judge. If you think your accomplishments are worthy of acclaim, then they most definitely are! If, however, you find yourself succumbing to the wet-blankets of the world, try out these tips and methods and let me know how they work out. Do you have any other methods to curb the daily pessimist? Please, let us know in the comments.

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17 Responses to 7 Concrete Ways To Combat Negativity

  1. Great article…sometimes we don’t realize it, but close friends and family can actually work against us, because they want us to depend upon them in some way, and success threatens such a dependency…so yes, a little distance and also confidentiality about business are two very good suggestions. Best Wishes, Keith Johnson, Author “365 Great Affirmations”

  2. Tim Bridge says:

    Hey Keith,

    Thanks! You make a good point. It is not rare for those close to you to like your dependence and therefore spawn negativity about your business projects.

    Hope to see you around,
    Tim

  3. Proinsias says:

    Are you saying that positive = good & Negative = Bad?

    If so then why?

    It works both ways. Those in my life who always try to promote the positive turn out to be equally as negative.
    The idea of avoiding or converting everything negative seems weird. It’s like trying to power your house using only positive electricity.

    The more you try to make everything positive the more you encounter negativity.

    Sometimes a balance is the way to go as opposed to an extreme.

    Life would be unbearable if my office was full of people being positive all day.

    Apologies if I’m just another wet blanket.

  4. Tim Bridge says:

    Proinsias,

    It’s not so much that positivity is good and negativity is bad. This post isn’t entirely about converting negativity to positivity. Such is only one of the ways to over come negativity.

    The truth of the matter is that some people in the world do not like the success of others. These are methods to deal with those people while maintaining your positive feelings that came with your personal success.

    A balanced life between positivity and negativity, optimism and pessimism, and accepting negativity on its own merits is perhaps another means to the same end. And that is something worth looking into.

    Thanks for your input,
    Tim

  5. […] Leadership by Example  It’s Time For a “Menaissance” 7 Concrete Ways To Combat Negativity […]

  6. Bill says:

    I’m inclined to agree with Proinsias.

    So while your post is true and accurate for some (many) instances, I’d respectfully suggest that in general it’s an oversimplified model of the human condition.

    We all have multiple personalities. At one time or another, everyone is a pessimist. Very, very few are consistent pessimists day in, day out. We can’t distance ourselves from the whole world, can we?

  7. Tim Bridge says:

    You are correct, we cannot distance ourselves from the whole world.

    Perhaps the approach taken should be to only distance yourself from pessimists when they are in a “pessimist” mood or, in your words, personality?

  8. John says:

    Tim,
    Make you right!
    I live with this every day, I think also some people believe they get your power by destroying your motivation, ie you lose the power and they gain it?
    Regards
    John

  9. sianz says:

    this is stupid.

    if you are surrounded by positive people, and these people are ‘more’ positive than you, it makes you the negative person amongst them, and they will distance away from you!

    in this world, it’s a matter of your own mind. essentially, if there are no losers in this world, it will make all the winners losers as well.

    it’s true that ugly people are there to make beautiful people look more attractive.

  10. Another way dealing with the scrooges is to simply ignore them.

    But one can only do this is when you are very clear about what it is you are trying to do and why. When you have doubts yourself, the naysayers tend to aggravate these ‘blindspots’.

    As Emerson says: “The world makes way for the man who knows where he is going.”

  11. Proinsias says:

    I would guess that the reason success is often met with both positive and negative responses is that success usually contains elements of both.
    Some peoples’ reactions can verge on the extreme but may still contain a little truth outside of their own meanness.

    If someone was being negative about my success it may be in part because I’m am not humbly accepting it and instead parading it around like a peacock with his feathers or have perhaps not appeared to have used the most honorable means to obtain the success.

    Negativity from others is often a good time for some self examination, it’s not always a sign to prove them wrong or ignore the comments.

    Most of the successes that are paraded in my office life would be put down and belittled by anyone with anti-capitalist ideas, it does not mean they are views to avoid or use to invert to further strengthen the office goals but rather more that some of these points may be taken on board and incorporated to provide a more balanced goal.

    I just feel that often the use of positive thinking is something used to gloss over issues that may get in the way of goals as opposed to incorporating or dealing with the issues and altering the goals or methods.

    I sometimes think that the most unpleasant and dangerous people the world has seen followed much of the above and succeeded in their goals much to the dismay of those who were pessimistic about the goals.

    In my experience I have not met people who do not like the success of others. I have met people who do not like the success made by certain types of people by certain types of methods, often with perceived ulterior motives.

  12. I would have read the article if it were titled “Seven Concrete Ways to Promote Optimism”…but I avoid combative articles focused on negativity.

  13. Chuck says:

    Tim,

    Very well said. With the exception of John and Albert, the other comment just prove you point.

    There are many people who seem to feel they only have negativity to contribute. From their p.o.v. they may think they are being “careful” or “relaistic,” etc. In reality, there are many personal psychological reasons that are at play . . . most of them not good.

  14. Paul E` says:

    I hate to sound negative. Try to think of this as practical. Look at the glass again. I don’t care that it is full or twice half full or not empty. Th glass appears to be full of urine. Urine stinks. Dump it out and be glad that you didn’t get any on you.

  15. Dr Isaac Karimi (physiologist) says:

    I think that the best way to caponize the negative charges of jealous people is a process that physiologist call it :” contact inhibition” that means YOU MUST LIMMIT YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH THEM.
    Do’nt forget that jealous people are so breakable, break them with aloneliness.

  16. Mark says:

    Proinsiasm – “Those in my life who always try to promote the positive turn out to be equally as negative. The idea of avoiding or converting everything negative seems weird. It’s like trying to power your house using only positive electricity.” – You’re not giving any examples here. People promoting positive become negative? How? You don’t define negativity. Also, you seem to have missed the point of the article. The point is to promote a healthy positive lifestyle with minimal negativity. Some criticism is ok, but the article is discussing those people who are always negative towards you. It’s not saying that people have to convert all negativity to positivity. There IS a middle ground; everyone does not exist as either positive or negative.

    “If someone was being negative about my success it may be in part because I’m am not humbly accepting it and instead parading it around like a peacock with his feathers or have perhaps not appeared to have used the most honorable means to obtain the success.” – Really? So these are the only two results of being successful? Perhaps you should not give a damn so much what others think? Then maybe you will realize something amazing: It doesn’t matter what others think. While you can be aware of what they think, ultimately, you’ll be stronger if you choose your own path to the best of your knowledge. At the end of the day I’m not going to give much of a damn if someone thinks I haven’t earned my success honorably. I’m more concerned about being successful; and in the modern world the bottom line is that my success = your success (a better world for everyone).

    “Negativity from others is often a good time for some self examination, it’s not always a sign to prove them wrong or ignore the comments.” – True, but you don’t want to spend too much time on the negativity of others. I get the impression that Tim is talking about people who use negativity in a bad way; they are not concerned with your success, they wish to take you down a notch to boost themselves up according to their world view. How is evaluating your situation going to help with these people? It won’t; because they have only criticized you to make you question yourself; which leads to weakness. The older you get, the more you realize that your viewpoint is small and limited in this world, and as intelligent as you are and as smart as you will become; you limited to an extent to your history and all the years that make you who you are. This is something that is difficult to explain, but I can say with good certainty that you will come to understand this eventually.

    “Most of the successes that are paraded in my office life would be put down and belittled by anyone with anti-capitalist ideas, it does not mean they are views to avoid or use to invert to further strengthen the office goals but rather more that some of these points may be taken on board and incorporated to provide a more balanced goal.” – So what? The article deals with those people that try to take you down individually often for reasons of envy…it doesn’t have anything to do with general political beliefs unless the troll is constantly using those beliefs as a means to bring someone down.

    “I just feel that often the use of positive thinking is something used to gloss over issues that may get in the way of goals as opposed to incorporating or dealing with the issues and altering the goals or methods.” – It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it. In the office environment, you just have to say it differently. People are more receptive to criticism when it is approached in a positive way. Of course, on this site, I’m not concerned about persuading you to take my viewpoint, I’m simply giving you the hard facts. Since I’m totally arguing against you’re likely going to be less inclined to agree with me and more angry, which makes this an ineffective way to promote change. Get it? Of course you don’t…you don’t want to now because I’m arguing directly with the facts instead of approaching it from a more positive standpoint.

    “I sometimes think that the most unpleasant and dangerous people the world has seen followed much of the above and succeeded in their goals much to the dismay of those who were pessimistic about the goals.” – What? What is this referring to? What the hell does this MEAN?

    “In my experience I have not met people who do not like the success of others. I have met people who do not like the success made by certain types of people by certain types of methods, often with perceived ulterior motives.” – Think about this. If someone does not like your success and is envious towards you, do you think they are going to tell you? “Oh by the way, Billy, I hate the fact that you have a hot wife; I’d rather be having sex with her.” People aren’t honest, and you seem to be arguing under the naive impression that the world is simpler than it is. The second sentence here is a jumble of excessive pretentious words that make the whole sentence ambiguous and vague. I don’t give an F what people you’ve met, especially when you’re not going to be specific. You could be completely full of BS. How would anyone know? What is the point of writing that sentence? Think about it. You’re not supporting your argument at all because you give people NO idea what type of people are in question here.

    Your argument is weak. When you use terms like “meanness,” you’re being vague and confusing. What is meanness? Is it negativity under the definition we’re suggesting? So what if people are mean sometimes? You’re making this sound like a playground where boys and girls are mean to each other sometimes. If that’s the case…welcome to life. The article is discussing people who are constantly negative towards you.

    If you want to argue, be more specific.

    Bill – “while your post is true and accurate for some (many) instances, I’d respectfully suggest that in general it’s an oversimplified model of the human condition.” – First of all, this is not a dissertation. The “human condition” can’t be accurately captured in a few paragraphs. Secondly, you as well as Proinsiasm miss the point (even after Tim tries to explain it again): the article is focused on dealing with people that are always negative towards you. Everyone has people like this in their lives; but usually and fortunately there are only a few. You guys are making Tim look like a bible-thumping starry-eyed christian or something; it’s simply not the case.

    sianz – You are stupid. And you have a lot of growing up to do. You do have one point though; it’s all in your mind. And with your attitude, good luck; you’ve got a lot of shitty years ahead of you.

    Angel’s Attorney – You are also stupid. As has been discussed, it’s ok to be aware of negativity; in fact it’s important (and this is where I agree with some of the opposing commenters), the trick is to realize your own path and to not let overly negative people steer you off it. The fact that you choose to ignore an article that IS HELPFUL to people who have to deal with negativity on a daily basis only leaves you more vulnerable when the pricks show up at your door. Learning to deal with negativity is just as important as being positive. The article is aptly titled, the euphemism would be misleading, and you my friend, are an ignorant cunt that deserves all the negativity you won’t be able to handle. Even though I’ve argued against others on here they look like saints in comparison to your level of idiocy.

    Paul E` – Your attempt to be a smart ass has failed due to the fact that the majority of people online know that tea/beer looks like, and you’re not offering anything valuable to the discussion by comparing it to urine (in other words, it’s a lame joke attempt).

    Chuck – Good point. Many of the individuals on here are trying to be “hard-faced” in the face of a reality that they perceive as being rough (and it certainly can be). What they naively fail to realize is that your reality is to a large extent what you make it, and if you believe in defending people that are negative on a constant basis because they might offer a “dose of reality,” you’re missing the point. In the small amount of time we are on this planet, no one wants to be surrounded by negative people all the time. No one wants to be constantly criticized for the way they live their life. If you don’t mind this, then you haven’t settled into a style of living that has worked for you, and you are most likely a dumb (excuse my frankness) or NAIVE (better word) kid below 30 without a doubt that still is buying into this whole ideology. Why the hell would you want to be surrounded by someone who constantly brings you down? I’m not talking criticism now and then, I’m talking about constant insulting near verbal abuse (because that is what the article is discussing). You are to some extent the reality you promote, so if you promote this type of negativity, you’re going to get it back at you. And when you open up the can of worms, it will attack you in ways you don’t even understand at this moment. Self-knowledge is the road to control in your life, and you’re better off knowing yourself as early as possible and continuing to be yourself rejecting criticism that might steer you off your path, even when it’s almost painfully obvious that taking the easier path might be more beneficial in the short term. You only get one chance to live, what does it matter if your path doesn’t vibe 100% with 100% of the world at any given time?

    I realize that I appear to be being hypocritical here. However, I am willing to make an exception considering that this matter is concerning negativity. I am playing the devil’s advocate to illustrate a point. I do not advocate using this method normally, certainly not in reality, especially not in the workplace. There a positive ways of criticizing and they will likely produce results. Again, most people won’t agree with me simply because 1) They would have stopped reading long ago because many people are ignorant and 2) Many people respond to negativity poorly and are not willing to see things from another perspective if the other person is criticizing them especially with profanity; and this is precisely why negativity is a BAD way to criticize!

    Excellent article Tom. It’s not always the case that people are jealous of your success, but usually it is a power game that comes back to them either feeling threatened or feeling the need to put you down to make themselves appear (to themselves or especially others) better, smarter, more attractive, etc.

    Some people are negative by nature, and don’t even consider half the insults they spew as being insulting to others; they consider them jokes and believe that those who take offense are less-intelligent somehow, because they have failed to pick up on the joke. Many of these people are narcissists that are masters of their own world but not empathetic to the views of others that choose to live a different lifestyle (artistic vs. practical, or other dichotomies). These people have criticism that works in their world, but won’t work in your world, which is again why you need to KNOW YOURSELF AND KNOW YOUR WORLD so you can know what to take seriously or not. Knowledge is important. It seems to me that with some of the pretentiously ambiguous language being used in the comments that some of the commenters above are still exploring different viewpoints in the world and not settling on a life perspective, which makes them targets for the negativity of others.

    As mentioned above, some people don’t mean to be negative when they insult by the standards of others, and those that are “sensitive” to criticism have to be careful to avoid these people, because you won’t get along with them. You might be realistic and able to deal with criticism, but trust me, you will not always know when to draw the line between criticism, insults, and just joking around. When it comes down to it, you will likely want to be surrounded by people that mostly share your perspective on the world.

    If you made it to the end of this comment, congratulations. You deserve it, even if you don’t agree with what I’ve said. If you’re going to argue anything I’ve said, be sure to read the whole comment and be sure that you KNOW what you are arguing, and you argue direct points. Arguing online with a pile of tossers that have no reading comprehension skills (even though they THINK they know everything) is not fun. If you want to argue against me, at least give it some thought. You might have a point I haven’t considered. Random insult blurbs will be given as much attention as the intelligence backing them – none.

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